The development land market continues to be resilient to COVID-19, Lockdown 3 and the adverse effect on the wider economy and growing unemployment. Not enough houses are being built to cater for the homebuyer demand.

National PLC and regional private housebuilders and registered providers, having withdrawn from the market during the first lockdown, are back with impetus and actively seeking sites in primary locations along the M5 motorway corridor and major A roads into and out of the South West of England. They are looking for sites of 75no. dwellings plus. All builders, large or small, are looking for sites in key areas within our area – Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset. They need to find new sites to replenish their pipelines, as new homes sales were exceptionally good in 2020 for clients of our firm.

A key factor affecting delivery in parts of Somerset is the phosphates issue, which is holding up planning applications on all sites within the Somerset Levels catchment area. The issue is yet to be resolved and will affect land supply, the building industry, the local economy and housing delivery for those local planning authorities affected by it. This is an opportunity for those with sites with detailed planning permission within the catchment area to sell their sites and also for those outside of it which are free of the issue.

We are seeing more competition due to the limited number of sites on the market and more unconditional sales and full payments on completion, which is good news for sellers and agents alike. We are also seeing activity in secondary and tertiary locations; however, the level of interest is limited and the deals more protracted. It will be interesting to see the effect of the end of the Stamp Duty holiday for new homes and demand for new and second-hand homes after March and what, if any, impact that has on the development land market.

We have successfully negotiated and agreed terms on a number of our sites, as shown in this Development Sites List, with a significant number under offer and deals in solicitors’ hands. A selection of the deals across our area of coverage are as follows: -
  • Ashcott - detailed planning permission for 5no. dwellings – under offer; Guide price £600,000;
  • Ashill – outline planning permission for 25no. dwellings – completed Feb 2021; 
  • Butleigh – outline planning permission for 37no. dwellings – under offer;
  • Chard – outline planning permission for 142no. dwellings – completed January 2021;
  • Compton Dundon – detailed planning permission for 7no. dwellings – under offer;
  • Crewkerne –outline planning permission for 150no. dwellings – under offer;
  • Mabe Burnthouse – outline planning permission for 30no. dwellings – under offer;
  • Merriott – detailed planning permission for a single building plot – completed December 2020;
  • Merriott – outline planning permission for 49no. dwellings – under offer;
  • South Molton – outline planning permission for 144no. dwellings – under offer;
  • South Molton – detailed planning permission for 21no. dwellings – completed November 2020;
  • Templecombe – greenfield site outline planning permission] for 49no. dwellings – under offer.
See our latest Development Sites List HERE.

For more information and advice, contact Development Land & Planning on 01823 334466 or